Sunday, May 31, 2009

May Practice Father

May is over. I completed one of the three non sock, sock yarn projects I was working on at the start of the month. It seems so long ago now.

As you would expect I’ve been knitting. I did take a break long enough yesterday to play some Beer Pong. I guess the technical East Coast term for it is Beirut. Either way, it was a fun evening with friends and surprisingly I was much better at it with my hair clipped back and my glasses on. Imagine!

Today Mum and I were working on updating the Curlfect website. No I didn’t link it since the updates have been published yet. We’re actually doing a massive overhaul to the site, about 60 hours of work spread out over a couple weeks with us working on it as much as we can, as fast as we can. I’m proud of how it looks and will be sure to let you know when it’s finished.

Tomorrow is the start of the Socks from the Toe Up KAL over on Ravelry. The KAL stands for Knit A-Long. There are about 800 of us and we are using Wendy Johnson’s new book Socks from the Toe Up and all knitting the same sock each month. This month is the Lacey Rib Sock. I’m anxious to cast on for that using the Panda Silk yarn I’ve attempted to use for 2 other socks but always found the fabric too drapey. Now that I’m ok with knitting with size 0 needles (no longer shaking my fists up and down proclaiming that “I will never use anything smaller than a 2!!!!”) I should be able to create a semi-dense fabric with this yarn. At least it will be a wearable sock.

Aside from that, the month of June seems pretty vacant in terms of challenges. We’re busy every weekend so I’ll need to make portable projects. Perhaps I should work on some Christmas presents, or go for another mile. Those are goals that have worked the best for me. Although June is father’s day. Perhaps I should knit something for my father. I could be a Christmas gift, not necessarily something for Father’s day itself. I think I like this. How about father inspired knitting? How about things that relate to Camping, Dr. Who, Biking/Cycling, Buddhism, Cheeses, X-men, Wide-Mouthed-Frogs, Reading, or Science Fiction, to name a few topics that make me think of him. Of course, female relatives reading this will have to keep it quiet in case I do in fact knit gifts for him.

Yes, it’s decided… June will be the Father Inspired Knitting Month.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Funny Wedding Video

This is a video my Mum shared with me of a couple's first dance at their wedding reception. It's worth watching through to the end. I was laughing so hard I was crying.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kittens and Knitting

It was a busy knitting weekend, which means this will be a photo heavy posting. I spent 5 days with my Mum while The Boyfriend and my Dad were at fishing camp. Which is funny because neither owns a fishing pole but it’s a tradition to go to camp this weekend every year. The boyfriend has gone the last 16 years without fail. Even to the point that when he found out his MBA graduation would be held this weekend, he opted out in favor of going to fishing camp. All I can do is shake my head and smile, perhaps they feel like we knitters feel about Rhinebeck. I’d give up a lot to not miss that trip and I’ve only been once.

But anyway, we did a lot of knitting this weekend. It’s funny because Mum hasn’t picked up sticks in years, but she found some lovely green alpaca and had a vision for a scarf. It’s about 7” long right now and I couldn’t be prouder. I felt bad that she had to rip back the first couple attempts because the pattern was too complicated to be considered easy knitting and then the needles used for the second attempt were too big. But now it’s perfect!

I’ve been flying through my Hey Teach Sweater. All the pieces are knit and blocked. Now it’s just a matter of doing a Three Needle Bind off at the shoulder seams, knitting the collar edging and sewing the whole thing up. I can’t wait to do that mattress stitching!

Amongst all the knitting we did play with Nessa’s babies, Ada, Nester, and Nevins. They are just adorable with amazing personalities. At 6 weeks old they are able to come out of the nursery and spend evenings with us. They are just too cute for words.

I finished my Must Have Color Socks. I used a picot edge instead of the usual 1x1 rib. The yarn is wonderful but I was bit confused about what I bought. It’s CTH Supersock Merino which is 100% merino. After wearing through my first pair of Claudia 100% merino I bought several colors of reinforcing thread. Had I realized sooner I could’ve used some on these socks. Oh well, I’ll just be careful wearing them and bring them to an experienced darner if they get a hole.

We did take a break from knitting long enough to head to the greenhouse for hanging baskets. I got a lovely purple Calibrachoa aka Superbell. It’s 3 feet across and does not require any pruning or plucking, although it does require watering every day. I'm not much of a gardener but who doesn't want to be greeted by pretty flowers when they come home?

I also cast on 5 socks, of which 3 were ripped. I just couldn’t get the right yarn and pattern combinations. The solution…buy more sock yarn. Everyone at knitting has been using the Pine Woods Yarn and I’m jealous. Mum was sweet enough to drive an hour to the nearest shop so I could get a skein. It’s a lovely teal-aqua color.

Oh and I can’t leave you without another adorable picture of Nessa hugging Nevins.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gathering of Seacoast Knitters

Last night we had an incredible gathering of Seacoast Knitters. For the last 2 months we’ve been secretly knitting blanket squares for the a baby blanket for one of our members. The Communicator is due on her own birthday, in early July. We adapted the Maja Blanket to match the gauge for the Louet Riverstone Yarn that The Enforcer chose. Riverstone is a 100% wool but it does have a very bright color pallet with a nice cushy hand. We were attempting to create a blanket that was 5 squares wide by 5 squares long, approximately 40” square, the perfect size for the baby, whose sex is unknown. That meant that each of us needed to knit two squares. Each square involved 3 different colors. Everyone bought a skein or two and we all proceeded to swap colors to ensure that everyone had colors that looked good together. Some skeins were mailed to Illinois and New Jersey for departed members to contribute. Others drove 45 minutes to the nearest yarn shop and bought skeins for the group. Some missed the buying opportunities but were able to eek out another square by combining the leftovers of others. And still others knit four or five squares to be certain we’d have enough.

The assembly party was here last night. This condo has never been so full. Thirteen Seacoast Knitters turned out in support of our friend. I was astounded by the support for The Communicator and the support of each other. It’s one thing to knit a square or two. That’s 10 hours of knitting time to give away. Knitters are generally charitable and willing to pitch in. But as a general rule, knitters do not like to sew. Amidst the grumbling about sewing some learned new techniques while we all forged ahead stitch by stitch assembling what will be a rainbow of love for the baby.

I’m certain she’ll be thrilled when she sees it and in turn, we will all be thrilled by her reaction to our efforts. It is wonderful to be part of something that brings so many of us together, so many people that were previously strangers. Brings us together not for the love of knitting but for the love of this community we’ve created. A community centered on knitting but filled with kindness and support.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hey, Teach!

On Saturday I cast on the Hey, Teach! Cardigan by Helen Rush from Knitty Summer 08. I am using the Crème Brule yarn I got at the NH Sheep and Wool Festival. It’s a melodious mix of navy, royal blue, spruce green, and teal. I’m knitting on size 7 needles, a drastic switch from the size 1s I’ve been using for my sock knitting which I has been my obsession since October it seems.

I’ve finished both front panels and am about a third of the way through the back. Then onto short sleeves once the back is finished. I wonder if I were extremely focused, could I knit a sweater in a week?

At first I didn’t like the idea of knitting pieces and seaming it up later on, but I enjoy the positive reinforcement of finishing each piece. I know that if I had to slog all the way around a 42” circumference this would be going much slower.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Typing Speed...

Test completed - here are your results:

Net Speed:
68 WPM(words/minute)


Gross Speed:
72 WPM(words/minute)

What's your speed?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NH Sheep & Wool Festival

This past weekend was the NH Sheep and wool Festival. I went with Meow Meow Head, The Crazy Future Librarian, The Bogus Roby, and her daughter. It was a blast. We touched all of the major fiber groups, sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, and bunnies.

The cutest animal by far was the 10 day old goat, about the size of Linus or any other 8 pound cat. She was exhausted but super adorable.

I picked up some Peruvian Alpaca Tweed in the color Midnight. Ok so it wasn’t local but it was soft and I made other local purchases as well. So here I am with 600yds of alpaca softness. I spent 20+ hours searching for the perfect pattern, with that yardage it needs to be a vest. Nothing grabbed me from my Interweave reserve, nothing perfect on Ravelry. Ok try searching for sweaters and I’ll leave off the sleeves. I found a couple decent ones but nothing that blew my socks off. So I’ll be creating my own design. A bit of a Frankenstein project. The hem of one, a lacy stitch pattern, the collar of another, the armholes of a third, and I’m crossing my fingers. With all this exciting uncertainty I decided that I didn’t want to risk running out of yarn. So I emailed the shop and they’re sending me a second skein today. Amazing customer service if you ask me. This will be the first sweater that I design. Who knows if it’s good enough I might even submit it to Knitty. Of course I’m putting the cart before the horse here since all I’ve done is sketch it and the gauge swatch.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

FInished at last

I've finished The Manwell sweater. Isn't he a cutie! You can't really see it, but there is a small pocket on his right side for slipping a treat into. I just love this little coat.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Another blog

I'm not sure if any of you knitters out there would be interested in a weightloss centered blog. My mother and I have both recently decided to tackle those extra pounds we've been fighting with for years. We've just started a blog about it over at It should be interesting listening to our different perspectives on the same issue.

Friday, May 8, 2009


It’s been so long since we’ve talked. I’ve been so busy I haven’t even had a chance to breath. But today is a day of breathing. And blog writing.

First, Wednesday morning Mac & I were checking out the tulip situation in the big flowerbed and saw something small and brown twitch. Sure enough it’s Earnheart. I was afraid he didn’t make it through the winter since his hole was unattended and no one had seen him until now. I know what you’re saying, “how do you know it’s Earnheart?” I know because he’s a big chubby chipmunk. I’ve never seen one this tall or this wide before. So Yay, we have our chipmunk!!

I’ve spent the last few days being a quasi-vet tech. At least that’s how I felt as Mum & I administered shots and did feedings. The short version is that 3 litters within a month is a lot for one person to handle. Especially when the kittens are small and there are more of them than there are nipples. We’ve been on red alter-since Saturday when the second litter was born. Weighing or feeding every four hours to make sure the babies survive. I love my Devons something fierce, and I wouldn’t walk away from breeding but sometimes there is a moment of pause as you realize that were it not for your midwifery and days spent monitoring the babies growth, few would survive to adulthood. The joy from raising them and sending them to their new homes comes at a very high cost as you brave a life or death situation every hour of that first week. Breeding is not for the faint of heart.
But on a lighter note, here are two of the older boys. As of yet, they do not have names. We’re leaning toward Robin Hood and Friar Tuck. Although Mum thinks that since they are Nessa Rose’s babies all the kittens should have the word Rose in their names. I’m pushing for ness in their names, so Lock-Ness, Hayness, Aness, Oness…names like that. You can see where this is going.

It’s somewhere near the start of a month, which means I need to enlighten you on this months challenge and last months results.

I’m not finished. April did not go so well. Work has been insain and this little dog sweater isn’t turning out the way I imagined. I knit 11 of the 14 inches and decided to stop and try again. The second attempt was much much better, but the back wasn’t right and I was 5” in when I realized this. Rip. Third attempt had crazy ribbing that tapered down too much at 10” this insight came to me. Rip. The fourth attempt is ok. It’s currently 8” long and I’ve begun to accept that this will not be the pinnacle of my designs. If I had 2 months to design it, then maybe but for now it is what it is. The deadline for the book submission is May 11th, so I need to wrap this puppy up pretty soon. (did you get the pun?). Yes I’m working on 3 patterns for a book on knitting with sock yarn, but to be difficult I’m not knitting socks in the tradition sense of the word. So this month’s challenge is to complete the non-sock sock knitting.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The good news

The good news is, you did not forget your wallet, and the bad news is you forgot your water bottle!

And…..The bad news is that as your mother I did not see your water bottle and the good news is I saw your pattern!

~Your Mum

Monday, May 4, 2009